Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Sunday, 6 July 2008 13:10 UK

Rough seas end Birdman contest

Birdman competition
Fine conditions on Saturday aided the winning 282ft flight

High winds and rough seas have led to the second day of the Bognor Birdman contest being called off.

More than 30,000 people were expected to attend the event in which contestants attempt mechanically unaided flight off the end of the pier.

The competition had already been moved to Worthing after Bognor pier was shortened by 80ft (24m), making it unsafe for flyers.

Organisers cancelled the event after waves started crashing over the pier.

The competition was due to start at 1350 BST to coincide with high tide, but was called off at noon.

Charity fundraising

Event spokesperson Wendy Knight, from Worthing Borough Council, said: "The weather is so rough that waves are crashing over the end of the pier.

"It is such a shame for the people who have worked so hard to get ready for today."

The contestants had been expected to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Saturday's Condor Class event was won by the "Geordie Flyer", veteran Birdman Ron Freeman, who achieved a personal best.

He travelled 282ft (almost 86m) off a pier in a modified glider.

A £30,000 prize was on offer to anyone who could fly the furthest distance over 328ft (100m).

The contest raises thousands of pounds for charity every year and has attracted interest from around the world, even inspiring a similar event in China.

The first contest was held in 1971 at the nearby resort of Selsey with a £1,000 prize fund, rising later to £3,000, for a flight of 150ft (46m).

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